Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 20- day 21

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

The entry was about his poor feeding, growth day 8 through day14, and breast pump and insurance company.

Also, I wrote that we met the lady doctor who was filling in our initial guy doctor who suggested the stomach tube for Liam.

Then, in the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 15- day 19“, I wrote that we learned the baby massage and also learned that our little son Liam yanked out his feeding tube from his nose and the lady doctor wanted to let him be and observe his feeding without it. The nurse was going to let him try taking milk via bottle without feeding tube.

That day,the nurse told my husband who brought breast milk for Liam that he did really good in terms of taking milk via mouth although she did not tell him how much he took.

It was looking hopeful that he be home soon..

When I heard about the incident, I could not help but thinking he really is acting like we named him to be for the middle Japanese name:-)

Naming the babies..

In Japan, we name kids with the parents’ hope in the Chinese character’s meaning for the baby to grow up to be.

For example, my name “Yasuko” in Chinese character means “Healthy kid”. My parents hopde I grow up to be healthy kid.

My sister’s name “Masako” in Chinese character means “graceful kid”, and my parents hoped she will grow up to be a graceful kid.

We named Liam’s middle name “Tsubasa”,which is Japanese name written in Chinese character.

The character consists of one left half that means “sheep” and the other half that means”wing” and it makes one Chinese character that be read “Tsu-ba-sa”.

The Chinese character “wing” on the right hand side means “help,support” and it means to help people,support people around him and when it becomes together with Chinese character meaning “sheep”,it means to be a good person inside out.

This Chinese character  as one also means, just like bird opening wings wide and flying high in the sky, we wish he will make an effort to his goal he set.

Feeding improvement..

After the feeding tube incident, when I visited him in NICU, he was drinking 35ml out of 50 ml to start with.

He used to drink only 10-15ml out of 50ml (I believe 2 oz is 60 ml so, 50ml is a little less than 2 oz) . Therefore, it was a good improvement for him.

Liam 19 day old About to yawn Aug 2 2014 blog

Liam 19 days old After the feeding..

While Liam was in NICU, I thought that it would be a good opportunity to read up more on baby care and I was reading “Your babies first year” for dummies and “Mayo clinic guide to Your babies first year” .

I found it interesting books to read and good ones for first moms trying to learn more about baby care. 

In addition to those books, I started subscribing the Japanese e-magazine on baby care, and it was/is full of information and I really like reading them.

It said that formulas you can buy at the stores is hard on babies stomach and it makes babies sleepier and mom’s breast milk is easier to digest and they can get hungry as they should throughout the day.

I find that when he got formula, it tended to make him gassy or hard for him to burp.  All the reasons that it is good for him to learn breastfeeding technique including myself for the feeder side of technique.

Every time we fed him in NICU, we hold him in turn after the feeding, and enjoyed looking at our little son looking happy with the tummy full of milk.

Liam, the popular kid in NICU..

Next day, I noticed that Liam was such a popular kid in NICU and nurse loves to talk to him, cheer him up and I am surprised when one nurse we have not met came up to us and said ” Oh my god! He has no food tube? I thought it will be my contact lens or something and thought tube might be behind the pacifier he is sucking like a champ but oh my god.He got no tube!”

She noticed that very tiny visual change with him in a split second:-)

We told her he yanked the tube out and he is off the tube and working with bottle exclusively with some breast feeding practice here and there.

According to the nurse then, he was 5 lb 13 oz (he was born at 5 lb 6 oz) and he was doing real good with bottle.

He took 45 ml, 47 ml etc out of 50 ml they want him to take via mouth and, when my husband was bottle feeding him, nurse put 55 ml milk in the bottle to push him a bit and he took 51 ml out of 55 ml!!

It is a good, very good improvement with him.Nurse said Liam does great job drinking milk when inside the bottle is mother’s milk:-)

Nurse also said if he keeps up like this, he may comes home next week.

She gave us one towel Liam was swaddled with for Palette to sniff and get familiar with the scent and sleep with.

Palette got Liam’s t-shirt, hat, and towel already:-)But more stuff to make a pillow out of,lol.

During the week, we participated in the class for caring for premature babies routines via NICU nurse.

I think that he was at NICU and I had to spend time away from him long time and it was not good.

However, on the flip side, he was cared in good hands and we get to have opportunity to learn small things from how to change diapers, how to swaddle, how to bathe him etc.. and I think it was good learning moment for us.

Graduation test from NICU..

By 21st day, I was told that I would be tested by NICU nurse to make sure that the primary care person (me) can make Liam drink 50ml at each feeding time.

Since I am a primary care person for Liam, NICU wants to test my nursing ability with Liam to make sure I can handle daily stuff on my own without help as well.

If he could do that with primal care person (me), he can come home.It was a graduation test for me and Liam in a sense.

I was feeling a bit pressure and nervous and excitement…. all the emotion mixed up.

I did 2 feeding a day before the test day and he took 35 ml out of 50ml… It was good but not good enough to graduate from NICU.

Maybe I had a magic hand that makes him so comfy and snuggie… He started off like a champ and I was excited for it but he started snoring in the middle..and.. fell asleep…

I tried tricks I could think of but nope, he would not be up.

It seemed like he tends to fall asleep in my arms lot faster than the time when my husband feed him. I used to feed him cradle style but now with nurse’s suggestion, since a day before, I started feeding him the way Liam facing toward me on the breastfriend pillow so he would not feel my heartbeat and no warm body temperature from to make him go ZZzzz faster. But still, he slept faster with me..

When I unwrap him or tickle or touch him with wet wash cloth etc.. he gets move around some and makes face a bit but in a matter of second, he goes back to snoring..

I was told that next day, I will be tested with half the feeding schedule;4 feeding times; 9 hours long.

Then,to clear the test, I must make Liam finish up the 50 ml bottles at each and every feeding schedule. That is the goal we two must clear to be able to come home together.

I was not worrying about changing diaper or taking temperature thing because I got hang of it but feeding.. it was still something I needed to work on.

On the graduation test day I was to be tested for ability of care Liam (how handle things on my own) plus for Liam, it was test for him to show them he can drink the amount of milk he needs to drink at each feeding time with me.I was there from morning to the evening.

I knew it was not the test exclusively for my ability to care Liam by NICU nurse but I was nervous enough and, I had to go back to get the pump parts I was going to bring to hospital.

When I arrived at NICU, Liam was up and moving hands as if swinging backwards and his eyes were more open than I used to see him.

He cried loud and got mad here and there but we were good.

During one of the feeding time, he yanked his heart beat, respiratory rate and oxygen level monitor patch that were sealed onto his chest (I noticed that when the monitor went 7 for heartbeat and respiratory rate monitor showed question mark etc…

I wonder if it was his way of saying “I no need this,I can go home now!”

He took almost 60ml (formula) at the very first feeding in the morning (must have been hungry).

Then, second,third, and fourth ones were with my breast milk and nurse pour 52ml in the bottle and he took them all.

Especially the last feeding schedule time, he hold my hands over mine and when I tried to pull the bottle out since he emptied out, he did not let me do so:-)

He seemed to drink my breast milk much faster speed than formula and did not want to let the bottle go. I must had something tasty in my diet,lol.

It was a good sign. Ultimately, he passed (well, we passed our test) his test for the feeding challenge.

Therefore, he was pre authorized for discharge next day!

We both were excited for it!

One more challenge he has to clear next day was car seat challenge;he needs to be monitored his heart beat for 1.5 hr in the car seat to make sure he is good with the car seat and car seat posture.

If he cleared the test, he was allowed to come home finally to his own home!

One thing I was informed on the graduation test day and hope for the best was his hearing.

Later, it turned out to be all clear but that day, I was told that hIs one ear is perfectly good but the other one is inconclusive.It got me worried.

The screening test lady told me he needs to go see a doctor to see if the fluid inside the ear is causing the hearing problems or if it is hearing loss…

I know now he was perfectly fine with both ears but when I heard the news, I was very worried.

Right before the last feeding time, nurse showed me how to bathe Liam in the water.

I did learn how to bathe him before with other nurse but it was how to sponge bath. It is interesting to know that baby shampoo are not going to cause the problems even if soap is left behind on his skin.

A day before Liam’s home coming day,me and my husband had to have family meeting to decide which coming home clothe he will be wearing:-)

When we packed hospital bag, we brought 2 outfit because we could not decide. We thought maybe Liam could pick one on his own,lol.

We hoped Liam would pass his car seat challenge and finally be home sweet home.

Stay tuned for more Liam’s story.


Feb 16, 2016 | 0 | parenting

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